GCCA’s third-ever Innovandi Open Challenge submissions exceed expectations

by Helena Morgan
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This year’s Global Cement and Concrete Association (GCCA) Innovandi Open Challenge is guided by a focus on carbon capture, use and storage (CCUS) to further reinforce GCCA’s unwavering commitment to decarbonisation. 

The third Innovandi Open Challenge has received close to 100 applications globally from tech start-ups eager to work with prominent cement and concrete manufacturers in pledging commitment to decarbonisation. 

A core component of GCCA’s net-zero roadmap is to draw on astute and determined minds and develop CCUS technologies, an area predicted to represent 36 percent of all cement industry carbon-dioxide reductions by 2050.

Innovation will accelerate implementation of CCUS technology

More than 100 CCUS cement industry pilots, projects and announcements are in the pipeline across the world, according to GCCA’s chief executive Thomas Guillot. “The world’s first commercial-scale carbon capture and storage plant is set to complete later this year,” says Guillot. “Innovation will help our industry to deploy this technology further and faster.”

GCCA encouraged applications from tech start-ups specialising in process integrated and end-of-pipe CO2 capture and use, alongside storage by mineralisation, as such areas have been recognised as effective and achievable ways to stall and prevent carbon emissions.

Vast global community demonstrated through submissions 

The challenge has attracted a wide global pool, with applications from the United States, the United Kingdom and India, alongside first-time entrants from China, Greece and Australia. 

GCCA’s cement, innovation and ESG director Claude Loréa says such submissions speak to the “high level” of enthusiasm towards achieving net-zero targets. 

Experts from GCCA’s member companies will now assist the association in selecting a shortlist of the most promising applications. Once shortlisted, the start-ups will have the opportunity to pitch projects, and then if successful, secure access to industry plants, labs, networks, expertise and infrastructure from GCCA members. 

Applicants should feel motivated by the results from the last two Innovandi Challenges – the 15 start-ups shortlisted in last year’s challenge are currently discussing partnership terms and conditions with manufacturers. 

Global cement and concrete industry pledges net zero by 2050.

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